Statoil will need the output from the far north to meet a goal of keeping up production levels in Norway to 2030 and beyond, Arne Sigve Nylund, the company's head of development and production in Norway, has said.
norwegian oil production
Offshore accounted for about 32% of total world oil output in 2011 and some 24% of gas production. Both shares have increased slowly over the past decade.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) expects a modest increase in investment on the Norwegian Continental Shelf over the next few years.
Norway is now the second richest country in Europe, in terms of income per person, after Luxembourg. The population of 4.6million is a little smaller than Scotland's.